Apple: White iPhones Delayed Until Mid July

According to an official Apple statement, the reason you won't see any white iPhones on shelves tomorrow is that they've "proven more challenging to manufacture than expected" and are delayed until mid July. Full statement:

CUPERTINO, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — White models of Apple's new iPhone® 4 have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July. The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected.

The idea that one case color would be more difficult to produce than another seems fairly implausible, but then again, Apple could just be referring to general supply line shortages under the umbrella idea of manufacturing challenges. Either way, it doesn't really matter. If you wanted a white iPhone, you'll either be waiting until mid July or mastering the fine art of white-out.

UPDATE: From a reader/Design Manager who knows a thing or two about mass manufacturing, white equipment may indeed be harder to produce than black:

"The process to make the back of the glass black is an electroplating process. This creates a very durable consistent and smooth black finish. To make white on the other hand you have to paint the back of the glass with white paint. It is difficult to create a smooth opaque look with the white. Also if the white paint goes on too thick it is difficult to glue the glass on because the glue will stick to the paint, but the paint will pull off of the glass. "

UPDATE 2: From another reader who cannot disclose their identity:

"Actually the white on the iPhone is not painted, it is screen printed. I cannot say who I am as Apple does have a non-disclosure in effect for this, but: The color specifications for the white on the new iPhones are just crazy. The tolerances they are trying to achieve with the white really is the cause of the delay. As screen printing goes, it is somewhat controllable, doesn't have the tolerance that Apple is wanting to hold the color specification of the white too. Talk about anal..."